Scientists release updated summary of NZ groundwater quality


New Zealand scientists are drawing attention to the precious resource of fresh water stored under the ground as part of a global effort to raise awareness of groundwater.

The LAWA Groundwater Quality National Picture Summary 2022 looks at data from almost 1,000 wells and shows that while most groundwater in Aotearoa is of very good quality, contamination from E. coli and nitrate does occur.

The summary reveals groundwater nitrate concentrations exceeded the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards in around 6% of wells tested. Roughly a quarter of groundwater sites had concentrations higher than half the Maximum Acceptable Value.

State of the environment groundwater samples taken by regional and unitary council staff are tested for a range of indicators. The results help scientists and decision-makers evaluate the state of groundwater quality and trends over time.

This data is made freely available on the LAWA website.